Top 10 best backpacks for heavy loads

by Sigita B | Last Updated: October 5, 2020

When you are going on a long hiking trip or traveling with kids, you will want a monster of a backpack. Huge capacity, secure harness system and thoughtful design are features that you should look for in a bag.

Multi-day hikes and exploring long trails are great but since you need to camp in a different location every night, you will have to bring your fully-packed backpack with you everywhere. Also, when travelling with children you might want to put some of their stuff in your bag so that the kids can move freely and have enough energy for a whole day of hiking.

When it comes to backpacks for heavy loads, there are different kinds of packs to consider – from lightweight gear to heavy duty packs. Backpacks with capacity over 70 liters are called expedition packs because they can easily accommodate trips that last for five days or more.

Remember that liters indicate the volume capacity of the pack but not the weight of the load it can carry. For example, even though Osprey Xenith 88 is an 88-liter backpack, it can carry loads between 18 and 32 kilograms. Before you start packing, use our ultimate hiking checklist and then downsize as much as possible. Also, skim through our packing guide (The best way to pack a hiking backpack) and learn how to maximize every bit of space you have.

Read our recommendations for the best expedition backpacks below.

A hiker with the backpack in the forest

Osprey Xenith 88 Backpack

This Osprey backpack has innovative suspension system that provides excellent support and stability while carrying huge loads. It is recommended for loads of up to 32 kilograms which should cover all your hiking gear – a tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad, clothes, food and cooking equipment, safety gadgets and more.

This pack is ergonomically designed to distribute weight evenly and stabilize the pack when you are on the move. The bag itself only weighs 2,38 kg or 5,2 lbs which will not add much weight when you already have a heavy load to carry.

Osprey Xenith 88 Men's Backpacking Backpack

88 liter backpack built for carrying 40-70 lbs. of gear (pack weight 5. 5 lbs. for a size medium).

Floating, removable top lid with top-and under-lid zippered pockets converts to a DayLid daypack.


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Osprey Xenith 105 Backpack

Xenith 105 is among the biggest modern internal frame backpacks of the market. Due to its large size and durability, it is perfect for multi-day hikes and winter trips. When carrying heavy loads, good and thoughtful design is essential. This pack, just like Xenith 88, has highly adjustable hip belt and harness, as well as custom molding that allows you to adjust this pack to your frame and body shape.

This pack only weighs 2,45 kg or 5,4 lbs making it a reasonably lightweight option in the 70+ liters backpack range.

Osprey Xenith 105 Men's Backpacking Backpack

105 liter backpack built for carrying 50-80 lbs. of gear (pack weight 5. 67 lbs. for a size medium).

Floating, removable top lid with top-and under-lid zippered pockets converts to a DayLid daypack.


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Black Diamond Mission 75 Backpack

Mission 75 is Black Diamond’s toughest alpine pack that combines durable design, balanced carry and a lot of room for all your hiking gear. This pack is suitable for mountaineering and other activities where you need to carry a heavy load and be very physically active at the same time.

This pack is highly durable and fit for a range of different activities – climbing, trekking, hiking, skiing trips and more.

Black Diamond Mission 75 Backpack

SwingArm shoulder straps and thermoformed backpanel. Top-loading, with removable lid, drawcord skirt closure and tuck-away rope strap.

Ice-tool PickPockets and crampon pouch.


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Gregory Baltoro 75 Multi Day Hiking Backpack

Gregory Baltoro and its female counterpart Deva are among the most popular backpacks for carrying heavy loads. This pack is highly adjustable with foam padded harness and clever arrangement of pockets and compartments.

As users have noted, this pack can hold a lot of weight while feeling deceptively light. It is a great choice for week-long trips or when you need to bring a lot of gear with you.

Gregory Mountain Products Men's Baltoro 75

630D HD Nylon - EVA Foam.

3D AIR HIPBELT AND SHOULDER HARNESS: Gregory’s PreCurve technology and multi-density foam construction combine to eliminate hotspots and relieve pressure in sensitive areas. The 3D AIR mesh wicks away moisture, increasing overall comfort.

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Osprey Aether AG 85 Backpack

Osprey’s Arther backpack has a unique design that shifts weight to the large muscle groups in your legs, taking the load off your back and shoulders. This way, you will not get tired as quickly and will be able to comfortably carry the pack for longer.

This pack has carefully-thought organization with multiple easily accessible pockets, removable compartments, internal divider and several attachment points that allow you to carry even more gear on the outside of the pack.

Osprey Aether AG 85 Men's Backpacking Backpack

AG AntiGravity 3D suspended mesh backpanel/hipbelt. J-zip front panel access.

Integrated & detachable raincover. Pre-curved IsoForm CM moldable hipbelt.

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Kelty Coyote 80 Backpack

A voluminous pack that is durable and suitable for rough terrains – this is Coyote by Kelty, a pack that is loved by many adventurers and backcountry explorers. Its light aluminum internal frame supports heavy loads all while ensuring great carrying comfort. Weighing 5,5 lbs or 2,4 kg, this is a lightweight pack that will barely add any weight to your load.

One of the greatest features that Coyote has are load-lifter straps that you can use to find the most comfortable way to adjust the pack against your body distributing weight to different parts of your body, from shoulders to hips etc. Once you get tired on the trail, you can switch the weight distribution to ease carry fatigue.

Kelty Coyote 80 Backpack

The Coyote is a load hauler ideal for extended trips into the backcountry with support for heavy loads while adjusting easily for a custom fit.

Perfect Fit Suspension supplies you w/ customized comfort without the hassle.

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Deuter Aircontact 65+10 Backpack

This ergonomically-designed backpack keeps the weight close to your body to deliver optimal comfort and performance. Ultralight aluminum frame keeps the pack stable and follows your movements ensuring even weight distribution. It allows you to carry most of the weight on your hips, shifting it away from your shoulders and back. This way, you will feel comfortable even after hours of carrying the loaded pack.

This pack is made of innovative synthetic materials that are highly durable and water and abrasion-resistant without adding extra weight to this big pack that only weighs 4,6 lb 4 oz or 2,8 kg.

Deuter Aircontact 65+10 Backpacking Pack

Fabric,Mesh,Nylon,Polyester. Zipper closure.

Designed for lightening heavy loads by transferring the load to the hip belt through the adjustable and flexible aluminum X-frame, keeping the pack incredibly stable while hollowed foam chambers guarantee ventilation.

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Mountaintop 70/75L Internal Frame Backpack

If you are looking for a budget expedition backpack, check out this Mountaintop pack. Padded, highly adjustable harness provides comfort and ease of carrying heavy loads while the durable waterproof material makes this pack a great choice for difficult terrains. Despite the low price, users agree that this pack is comparable to much more expensive hiking backpacks in terms of load volume, user comfort and performance.

MOUNTAINTOP 70L/75L Internal Frame Hiking Backpack

One side of the pack has a side pocket, big enough for your jacket or umbrella. The other side has a zippered access which can easily access to the main compartment.

Hip-belt adjustable length:79-155cm/31.1-61.0in. It's not typically worn at the waist, but somewhat lower, on the hips. 


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Teton Sports Grand 5500 Backpack

This extra large internal frame backpack provides 5500 cubic inch or 90 liters capacity. Extra padding in lumbar region and adjustable back panel provides comfort while carrying big loads. Not only does it have a lot of space inside the pack, there are also attachment points for gear and safety equipment, as well as options for carrying snowboards, skis and snow shoes on the outside of it. Grand 5500 is sturdy and can carry a lot of weight. It is very suitable for winter trips when you need extra space for safety gear and additional clothing.

TETON Sports Ultralight Plus Backpacks

Iternal frame backpack for hiking, backpacking, camping and travel. Pack all your adventure gear in and on this pack. This is your EXTREME hiking backpack.

Strong shell for the most rugged hiking and camping adventures.

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Kelty Redcloud 90 Hiking Backpack

With capacity of up to 90 liters, Redcloud 90 is a giant among other voluminous hiking backpacks. Because of its big size, this pack should accommodate the longest of trips and all your packing needs. But keep in mind that this pack will be bulkier than most other options. However, users are happy with Redcloud’s design and the comfort it provides.

Kelty Redcloud 90 Hiking Backpack

Capacity, suspension, custom fit, simplified organization, the only pack you'll need for your adventures features our Perfect Fit suspension system.

Dimensions: Size (L x W x D) 34 x 19 x 15 in, Weight 5lbs 6 oz, Volume 90 L, Optimal Carry Weight: 20-60 lbs.


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